Published On: Tue, Jan 16th, 2024

William could drop ties with Church when King | Royal | News

The Prince of Wales is thought to be considering whether becoming King automatically requires him to become Supreme Governor of the Church.

It is a formal role that monarchs have held since the time of Henry VIII.

The question was raised in a new biography of King Charles by Robert Hardman who writes: “It is no secret that [William] does not share the King’s sense of the spiritual, let alone the late Queen’s unshakeable devotion to the Anglican church.”

A Palace source adds: “He doesn’t go to church every Sunday, but then nor do the large majority of the country. He might go at Christmas and Easter but that’s it.

“He very much respects the institutions but he is not instinctively comfortable in a faith environment.”

William, 41, was confirmed into the Anglican faith when he was 14. The late Queen was a devout Christian, with a deep sense of religious duty, who attended church on a weekly basis.

King Charles has always been a ­regular churchgoer.

The revelation about William comes at a time when church membership has plummeted from around 30% of the population a generation ago, a recent Church Statistics report found.

If figures keep falling membership is expected to hit just 8.4% by next year.

In 2022 the average weekly church attendance at Church of England services was 654,000, a drop of 228,000 people since 2009.

The sovereign holds the title “Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England”.

In his coronation oath William – and his son George after him – would be expected to swear to maintain the Church.

The new book also reveals that William already has plans for his own coronation which he intends to last around an hour and 10 minutes.

According to an aide, William is likely to favour a “serious and pragmatic” approach. He is also unlikely to make “lots of speeches” and is instinctively wary of wading into controversy.

If there is one thing likely to irritate King Charles, Hardman writes, it is royal watchers claiming he will be a “caretaker King” until Prince William takes over.

Queen Camilla’s sister, Annabel Elliott, says: “I don’t see that at all, knowing we’ll see quite a few changes.”

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